Hands on Activities for Decking your Halls

By: Ayla Valone

It’s the most joyous time of year! Everyone is in a jolly mood, Christmas cookies will be shared, and, most heart-warming of all, Christmas decorations. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without everything being covered in tinsel, garland, and bows. Decorating for this special holiday is one of the most crucial parts of your holiday, so why not make it your own? Making your own decorations gives your home a special feel that no one else will have.

The Squire interviewed Ms. Walter about her special decorating that she does at home and with her students. She told The Squire that she starts off her Christmas spirt with making a pop bottle tree with her younger students along with little paper made décor that comes from book pages. She also explained that she has a tradition of making Swedish treats, including a dessert called a sweetish tea ring which she explains is like a “fancy cinnamon roll.” She also enjoys a Swedish sausage called Korv, sharing that she buys it from a Swedish market in Jamestown. Like many who decorate for the big holiday, Ms. Walter also includes more traditional decorations like her Christmas tree, the elf on the shelf, nativity, advent calendar and stockings. She estimates that that her decorations are about a 50/50 ratio of store-bought and handmade decorations, like popcorn strings.

There are many decorations that are easy to make yourself. Buying a regular pine wreath is unoriginal and can be quite expensive, so The Squire is here to help you make your own wreath. Track down some of those old extra bulbs that you haven’t used and turn them into your own unique wreath. To do this, take a coat hanger and shape it into a circle as best as possible. Then, untwine the actual hook and take whatever colored bulbs you want use, threading the wire through the top of the bulb. Keep doing that until you can’t anymore. It is optional but you can put a large bow at the end of the wire to top it off. Then, take the two ends and twist the top back on the hanger like it originally was and your project is done is ready to hang it up.

Want to spice up your Christmas party? Try making a hot cocoa bar, which is a fun way to leave your guests satisfied and impressed. It will look welcoming and lead to people swarming your living room. To make a cocoa bar, you are going to need is milk, sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and lots of hot water. Depending on how many people you plan on serving, the amount will vary. Cook these ingredients over the stovetop, but do not boil. Then, whisk together when you think it’s about ready to serve. To keep the cocoa hot, it is recommended to put it in a large thermos. For the toppings, you can put them in bowls or jars for easy access. Many popular hot cocoa toppings are marshmallows, peppermint sticks, whipped topping, chocolate sauce, and cinnamon sticks. Many of those toppings are simple and loved by most. You’re also going to need plenty of mugs or disposable coffee cups for your cocoa bar. If you wanted to, you could even make a little sign that says “Cocoa Bar” and use some garland or mini decorated trees to decorate your table.

Do you have any plastic spoons in your house that you haven’t used? How about turning those into a little Christmas tree! First, you want to start with a thick piece of poster paper and cut it into a cone shape, and then roll it into a cone. To secure it, staple the base of the cone together then glue the top of the cone where the stapler cannot reach and let dry. While you wait for the glue to dry, take the spoons and cut off the handles. Then, take a hot glue gun and glue the cut part of the spoon and place it to the seam of the paper where it dried. Continue that process layer by layer until you reach the top of the cone. After that, let the glue dry. When dry, spray paint your tree whatever color you like, and, after it dries, cut out a star and glue it on a toothpick. Then, put the toothpick through the top of the cone and glue it. You can decorate the tree with little pompoms, or you could paint little ornaments.

Going the extra mile and making your own unique Christmas decorations will not only guarantee you that jolly Christmas spirt, but will make you look like you’re definitely keeping up with the Jones’. For more ideas you can visit www.goodhousekeeping.com or visit Pinterest for more Christmas decorations. The Squire staff encourages you to get on your creative side and deck out your home with handmade ordainments, crafts and all.




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